The commentators 19-09-14
...on the Scottish referendum
Like the battle of Waterloo, the battle for Scotland was a damn close-run thing. The effects of Thursday’s no vote are enormous – though not as massive as the consequences of a yes would have been. The vote against independence means, above all, that the 307-year Union survives. It therefore means that the UK remains a G7 economic power and a member of the UN security council. It means Scotland will get more devolution. It means David Cameron will not be forced out. It means any Ed Miliband-led government elected next May has the chance to serve a full term, not find itself without a majority in 2016, when the Scots would have left.
- Martin Kettle, The Guardian
Anyone sensible who has been watching events in Scotland will draw unnerving conclusions. If today’s elites do not provide more closely accountable government they will be swept aside by the politics of exclusion. A globalisation that enriches the richest and impoverishes the rest is not sustainable. The case for open, inclusive societies has to be remade. Internationalism defined the second half of the 20th century; nationalism has elbowed its way back into the 21st.
- Philip Stephens, Financial Times
For the Prime Minister, this morning is the anti-climax. He judged it right. He did the right thing, and everyone will hate him for ever. As for the rest, it is over for Alex Salmond. He feared that it was too early for the referendum when he won the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections. That’s why he put it off until now. That’s why he wanted a third option, of more devolution, on the ballot paper. He did well to get so close, but there won’t be another go for a long time.
- John Rentoul, The Independent
After weeks of politics that stirs real emotion, excites the public and actually matters to people’s real lives, things get back to normal with the Labour Party conference in Manchester. Next week it’s the Conservatives in Birmingham, then the Lib Dems in Glasgow. And on October 8, there’s the little matter of the Clacton by-election, where Ukip may well win its first parliamentary election…
- James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
The referendum shows the death of political activity has been prematurely declared. Argument has been joined and 97 per cent of the Scots have registered to vote. It has been invigorating and exciting in the way British politics rarely is. When there is something real at stake and the people wield real power, they care. They take part. It comes alive.
- Philip Collins, The Times
I'm claiming my independence from Andy Murray. We are so over. It is not the fact that he has a political opinion, it is that he cynically waited until polling day to let his mischief-making feelings be known. All this from a man who lives in the Surrey stockbroker belt and in Florida, a man who remains unaffected by the storm that is heading our way, however Scotland decides to vote.
- Jan Moir, Daily Mail
Apart from the twelve referendum splashes of the past two days, the subject has made a front-page lead on only five occasions this year:Yes, it's been busy with Iraq, Gaza, Ukraine, the rise of Ukip, sex scandals, the hacking trial, Mr Cameron's holidays, floods and heatwaves. But one would still expect the potential break-up of the UK - or the liberation of Scotland, depending on your point of view - to be able to put up a better fight against the 30 house price splashes, the 25 on migrants and the 26 on Madeleine McCann. I stopped counting when I got to 60 soap opera and "reality TV" offerings.
- Wake us up before they go-go
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